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The Bond Wins 2016 Boardman Tasker Award

Top mountain literature prize goes to Simon McCartney's story of climbing and connection.

The winner of the 2016 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature is Simon McCartney for his first book ‘The Bond’, which tells the story of ‘two epic climbs in Alaska and a lifetime’s connection between climbers’.

McCartney, a Brit now living in Hong Kong accepted the award at this weekend’s Kendal Mountain Festival where he also spoke – above. To put in perspective, everyone we know who has read the book has been blown away by it.

Simon McCartney, author of The Bond, accepts the 2016 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festive: image – Kevin Moran
The award, which is in its 33rd year, commemorates the lives of Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker who were lost on the North East Ridge of Everest in 1982 and is given to the author of an original work, which has made an outstanding contribution to Mountain Literature.
Attendees at the award ceremony, which was hosted by Stephen Venables, were treated to readings from the awards shortlisted authors, before the nail biting wait for the winner to be announced.

So Hard, Nobody Believe They Had Done It

Simon’s book, ‘The Bond’ details his relationship with Californian ‘Stonemaster’, Jack Roberts. Together they are legendary for climbing the North Face of Mount Huntington, a route so hard that for decades nobody believed they had done it.
Then, raising the bar again, they made the first ascent of the South West face of Denali, a climb, which almost cost Simon his life, and which broke the bond between him and climbing. ‘The Bond’ describes how a chance reconnection with Jack gave Simon the chance to bury the ghosts of what happened high on Denali.
Simon was up against stiff competition this year, with a strong shortlist of authors made up of Mark Vallance, Alex Honnold, Steve Olson and Robert Wainwright.
Simon McCartney, said “Book writing has changed my life, the people I see in the audience, I have risked my life with, if there was ever a way of representing what climbing is about, this festival is it”

More Information

More about The Bond at

Boardman Tasker Award:


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